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Cars Without Answering An Entire Passage

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The book I used to study for CARS actually suggested doing that for one passage: either blindly guessing on every question, or very quickly skimming the passage and choosing an answer. Their argument was that CARS is designed to be too long for the actual time we get to complete it in, and that in order to do well, you're better off spending more time on easier passages, and then guessing for a "killer" passage.

 

I had to that on my test, too. And unfortunately, it was a passage that had 7 questions. :( I'm hoping for the best though! I will be getting my score on Tuesday, so I can definitely update then. I think it's doable to get a 125+.

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Thanks. I pray and hope you get a decent score. I know it's nerve breaking. As you said, it's actually do able depending on how I did on other passages.My problem is I am not sure how well I did on other passages. CARS is a nightmare for me. I want to get rid of this CARS thing.  It's f$$$ ruined my life. I realized all of the test takers at my center felt confident after CARS except me. I could read faces hahah

 

I think AdCom should move towards - best three sections for MCAT :).

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Thanks. I pray and hope you get a decent score. I know it's nerve breaking. As you said, it's actually do able depending on how I did on other passages.My problem is I am not sure how well I did on other passages. CARS is a nightmare for me. I want to get rid of this CARS thing.  It's f$$$ ruined my life. I realized all of the test takers at my center felt confident after CARS except me. I could read faces hahah

 

I think AdCom should move towards - best three sections for MCAT :).

 

good luck (literally in this case, ha)! For science students CARS will likely always be the hardest section - which in part is why they seem to use it so much. I doubt your fellow test takers where all that confident :)

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Don't count on it. Miracles don't happen on CARS, I've tried lol. When people do this, they seem to think that all of their other answers will be correct and that they'll get 50% correct on the one they guessed. In reality, you probably scored 125-127 on the passages you actually answered and then 120-123 on the one you guessed. So expect a low score. But if you do get a 125+, let it be a pleasant surprise.

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Thanks. I pray and hope you get a decent score. I know it's nerve breaking. As you said, it's actually do able depending on how I did on other passages.My problem is I am not sure how well I did on other passages. CARS is a nightmare for me. I want to get rid of this CARS thing.  It's f$$$ ruined my life. I realized all of the test takers at my center felt confident after CARS except me. I could read faces hahah

 

I think AdCom should move towards - best three sections for MCAT :).

Thank you, I am hoping for the best for you, too! I'm with you there; I'm definitely hoping I won't have to write again.

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May I ask what book this was? This is the most asinine advice I've ever heard. These days, books say literally say anything and pass it off as "CARS strategies"

 

that is the trouble with CARS strategies. Somethings work for some people, somethings work for others. Really there are not quick short cuts here (unfortunately). 

 

I will say the test was NOT designed to be unfinishable in the time allocated. There is no point designing a test that has people guessing as a matter of course on the last section as it creates a random effect to the scoring on roughly 10% of the questions. 

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That was my underlying point. The test is not designed so time runs out.

 

I agree with the fact that some strategies work for some people, and others for others, but those are eccentricities of learning that develop as you progress through the core skills that CARS tests. Those core of skills are what these books should be teaching. 

 

and that is the trouble with CARS - you have to wonder if you CAN learn it out of a book. It is testing a skill that we develop over the course of a very long time. It can give you some pointers of course and how to avoid basic mistakes. At some point though it boils down to reading and thinking critically about a lot of stuff. 

 

You can improve CARS of course, but I am a bit skeptical of anything that makes that seem like a quick fix. 

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You're kidding? They're a  prominent company. The only reason I can think of for a misguided approach like that is that they were catering to the masses, who score roughly 125 on average. In that case, you can afford to write one passage off. 

 

perhaps in some cases it that approach can boost your score a point or two if you are hitting the average by default. Getting a nice scores that Western or Mac waits probably is something else. 

 

Still maybe for some people that actually works(?) Anyone actually used that strategy to success? :) 

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You're kidding? They're a prominent company. The only reason I can think of for a misguided approach like that is that they were catering to the masses, who score roughly 125 on average. In that case, you can afford to write one passage off.

No, not kidding! I read the entire book, and this method of completing the CARS section was recommended the entire way through. They stated that this was the only way possible to achieve a high score (but not a perfect score). They also said that by just reading the passages and answering questions, people typically score ~125. I suppose it's my fault for not consulting other books, but it seemed like TPR was a respectable and well-used resource. I didn't want to guess on a passage (every time I practiced, I just allotted 10 minutes/passage and was able to complete the whole section), but my CARS passages were all very long (much longer than the scored full-length from AAMC), so I ended up having to with the real test.

 

I was feeling ok about how I did before this, but now I'm not sure. I'll give an update when I have my score on Tuesday.

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They're definitely catering to the masses. This approach would create a bell curve with a very broad middle. With American's only requiring passable scores, it's a major market they cater to. This is why I'm very weary of anything prep companies provide that isn't just subject information. I avoided their "strategies" like the plague. It's all gimmicks.

:(

 

Well, I suppose that if I have to write it again, I will know for next time to stay away from that strategy.

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Yea, but what's the time limit? 95 minutes for 10 passages. 9.5 minutes per passage. So, with TPR instead, it's 95 minutes for 9 passages, roughly 10.5 minutes per passage. You're telling me Jonny scores 90% correct at 10.5 minute per passage, but cant score 90% at 9.5 minutes per passage with study? 

 

ha, I don't know - For some maybe yes as there is a top limit to their reading speed that they at least temporarily hit. 

 

I am very doubt though of the general utility of this approach. 

 

Seems like everyone has a CARS strategy they want to sell to you but the utility is hidden and unproven. 

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:(

 

Well, I suppose that if I have to write it again, I will know for next time to stay away from that strategy.

This is the same strategy TPR marketed for the old MCAT as well.  The reality is that it takes up too much time to deduce which passage is the "killer" passage and even then you may be wrong.  Some passages read easy but the questions are difficult (and vice versa).  

 

A strategy that has worked for me is just to do lots of practice under strict time conditions right from the outset.  10 min for 7 questions, 9 min for 6 questions, 8 min for 5 questions.  I consider myself a slow reader but was able to finish with 5-10 min remaining and score quite high.  In terms of approaching passages, it really does come down to figuring out the author's central argument and not getting caught up in the minutiae.  This gets much easier over time and with lots of practice.  In terms of approaching the questions, getting used to the style of questions and styles of answers is key.  Again, much easier to do with lots of practice.   After a while you begin to recognize what certain answer choices will be before finishing the question stem.  You learn to be weary of extreme answer choices that use words like "always",  "never", "all", "none"  (these are seldom correct, so if you are between two answer choices and this is one of them, almost always go with the non-extreme option). 

 

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This is the same strategy TPR marketed for the old MCAT as well. The reality is that it takes up too much time to deduce which passage is the "killer" passage and even then you may be wrong. Some passages read easy but the questions are difficult (and vice versa).

 

A strategy that has worked for me is just to do lots of practice under strict time conditions right from the outset. 10 min for 7 questions, 9 min for 6 questions, 8 min for 5 questions. I consider myself a slow reader but was able to finish with 5-10 min remaining and score quite high. In terms of approaching passages, it really does come down to figuring out the author's central argument and not getting caught up in the minutiae. This gets much easier over time and with lots of practice. In terms of approaching the questions, getting used to the style of questions and styles of answers is key. Again, much easier to do with lots of practice. After a while you begin to recognize what certain answer choices will be before finishing the question stem. You learn to be weary of extreme answer choices that use words like "always", "never", "all", "none" (these are seldom correct, so if you are between two answer choices and this is one of them, almost always go with the non-extreme option).

 

That all makes sense, thank you!

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I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I concur that TPR's is an absolutely awful strategy, and it simply won't fly here in Canada where CARS is king of MCAT. You should have enough time to finish every question of every passage, with time left over to review a handful of marked questions. If you can't manage this, you're simply not prepared. Luckily, the remedy is simple - it's practice. Keep practicing, practice daily, and take your practice seriously, especially when reviewing mistakes. Get your hands on as much CARS practice material as possible - FL's, section banks, questions packs, EK's Verbal Reasoning Passages Book, and more. 

 

I'm not affiliated with this company (and I apologize if I'm breaking any forum rules, hope I'm not), but look into TestingSolution's CARS practice package; it's pretty affordable and includes a CARS-training program and 8 FL CARS sections. You can probably find more info on SDN.

 

That was unsolicited advice, so ignore if you wish, but I hope it helps in the unfortunate case you have to re-take. Best of luck!

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